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s p r i n g 2 0 1 7 | 6 3 The vineyard was planted to Vitis vinifera on its own roots—a risk, given its susceptibility to phyl- loxera; but Michael believed the rewards would outweigh the risks. Believing that the vines and their root systems would benefit from a little head start, he and his farming team dug 48,000 individual holes with a mechanical auger and planted their vines. The idea was that the vines would more quickly establish themselves in their newly dug homes, creating a strong foundation as the vines took root and began to vigorously fight their way downward deep into the earth seeking water and nutrients. And boy, was he right. The early wines from this vineyard were extraordinary: earthy, mineral driven, bal- anced. Intense, yet subtle. Sublime. I'm still as- tounded at their beauty, balance and longevity. WRITING THE NEXT CHAPTER OF THE STORY In 2000, our family purchased the Rinconada Ranch and, shortly thereafter, the adjacent Sanford & Benedict Ranch. We, too, believed in the great and untapped potential of this place, and after 70 years in the fine wine business, we had a clear understanding of the difference between wines that tell the tale of the place versus those born of fiction—and created through chemistry. It would have been easier for us to have chosen to make fruit-forward wines with oaky overtones—something fashionable. Instead, because we believed in the vineyard and its potential, we chose to make wines that would capitalize on the minerality of the Monterey Shale and the cool maritime microclimate and express the uniqueness of the place. We identified 27 blocks within the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, each with its own unique soil composition. And it would be these blocks that would ultimately form the basis of our single block and single vineyard wines. Our goal: to show how minute variations in soil composition affect the flavor and makeup of a wine. Every time we bar- rel taste, I am astounded at the flavor and aromatic differences between and among the wines from these blocks. This is a testament to Steve Fennell's (Winemaker and General Manager of our Sanford Winery) unwavering attention to the elements that cause each vineyard block to be unique. Small quantities of these sometimes indi- vidual barrel lot expressions are also blended into our Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, highlighting the minerality that makes the story of Sanford & Benedict's land so compelling. PRESERVING THE LAND FOR GENERATIONS TO COME Our family now has the great fortune of owning and farming this land—and we fully recognize that we have the opportunity to tell its story through our wines. Our approach to farming honors the history of our vineyards and allows us to interpret the ancient language of the land in our winemaking and wines. It would almost seem to be irresponsible to attempt to force an alternate path or vision on these wines when the combination of the geology and our old-vines is what defines the magic of this place and its possibilities. Our goal is the same as the great winemaking families of the world: to preserve these precious vines and pro- tect this land, then share the story of this authentic and wildly interesting place through our wines. To do this, we act as stewards of the land, keeping our 40-year-old vines healthy as they progress toward 50, 60, maybe even 80 years. Then, as these vineyards are passed on to future generations of the Terlato family, those generations will also have the opportunity to craft wines that reflect the uniqueness of this place. P H O T O: CO U R T E S Y OF S AN F ORD W I NERY ■cr Our goal is the same as the great winemaking families of the world: to preserve these precious vines and protect this land.

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